When we first visited Mustafa* in his home, he was like a soul trapped in an immovable body, bound by the effects of Hydrocephalus. We quickly established short term objectives for him. For two months we worked on strengthening his muscles and mobilizing his joints using various physical therapy exercises. We determined that gaining balance and control of his body were obtainable long-term goals. We began helping him to strengthen his neck for better head control.
Initially, Mustafa's family were not following up with his exercises enough, so we also focused on encouraging them and reminding them of Mohammed’s essential role in the family. Soon after, we were pleased to see them take ownership of his well being. We watched Mustafa improve as a result of the team effort put in by us and his family.
Eventually several relatives visited and noticed that Mustafa had greatly improved. They wanted to pass out sweets to their friends and neighbors to celebrate.
As we have seen with Mustafa and his family, increasing the physical quality of life is only one of the goals that we pursue in our community based rehabilitation project. We also aim to increase the family’s emotional resilience and restore hope, as well as to help people with disabilities and their families to become more integrated into society.
* Name changed